Business Faculty Publications

Mid-level Information Technology Professionals: Skills And Traits Relevant To Fit, Individual And Organizational Success Factors

Vickie C. Gallagher, Cleveland State University
Kevin P. Gallagher, Cleveland State University
Kate M. Kaiser, Marquette University


A gap exists in understanding organizational career ladders for IT professionals. This gap is especially pronounced in organizations externally sourcing IT related activities to vendors, given that technical positions often feed the pipeline to mid-level roles. Based on prior research and qualitative discussions with key informants, this paper discusses the skills necessary for mid-level roles and proposes individual differences in social skills / traits for several key positions (project manager, senior system analyst, and relationship manager). The authors’ research informs IT professionals as to traits that are most strongly related to success within particular roles. Furthermore, the proposed model and the concept of “fit” will help employers and universities improve coaching and counseling regarding career paths, and contribute to the effectiveness of university curriculum. Finally, this research will inform the types of motivational techniques necessary for organizations to incentivize and achieve results in the form of increased performance, lower turnover, and increased satisfaction.